Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed on Friday bilateral relations with his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin in a telephone call, where the two agreed to resume direct flights between Russia and Egypt's Red Sea airports.
These airports include Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.
“The decision to resume flights to Red Sea airports was based on joint cooperation between Egypt and Russia and [was] according to what the Egyptian airports provide in tourist attractions from safety and comfort to incoming tourists,” the Egyptian presidency added.
According to the Egyptian presidency, President El-Sisi welcomed - during the phone call that he received from his Russian counterpart - the decision to resume flight movements between the two countries, expressing that this decision will push forward bilateral relations between the two countries and boost the movement of tourists between them.
From his side, President Putin expressed how his country was keen on boosting the different aspects of strong bilateral relations with Egypt, praising the long partnership between the two countries as well as the recent achievements Egypt made in the economic and social developments in addition to the national mega projects and developing infrastructure fields.
The Russian president stressed that his country was counting on Egypt's pivotal role in stabilising the region, the statement read.
The two presidents also discussed the latest developments about a number of regional issues above them the situation in Libya along with developments in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
El-Sisi and Putin also discussed the joint cooperation projects between the two countries, including the Russian investment zone in the Suez economic zone and the Dabaa nuclear plants.
Russia suspended direct flights to Red Sea resorts in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh as well as other Egyptian airports following the crash of a Russian flight in Sinai in the October of 2015.
Russia’s flight suspension to Red Sea resorts has taken a heavy toll on Egypt’s tourism industry – a key source of hard currency – since Russian visitors were major contributors to the tourism market in the country prior to 2015.
Since 2015, Egyptian authorities have upgraded all safety and security measures at all of the country's airports.
As a result of Egyptian efforts, Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport in April 2018, ending a 30-month suspension but did not resume flights to Egypt's Red Sea destinations.
Over the past several years, Russian aviation and security experts have inspected safety measures at Egyptian airports, including Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, on more than one occasion.